Most of us hope that a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 will soon be developed. But many people disagree about how best to use public and private forms of power to promote vaccination. Should a person’s ability to travel, work or go to school depend on them being vaccinated against COVID-19 or demonstrating immunity to SARS-CoV-2? Even if COVID-19 vaccination or immunity testing were not legally mandated, should people who refuse COVID-19 vaccine face stigma or discrimination in their interpersonal or professional relationships? This talk addresses fundamental ethical and legal issues surrounding vaccination choices and immunization policy, and it draws on historical and contemporary examples to illuminate possible futures for COVID-19 vaccination.
Mark Christopher Navin is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Oakland University, Lecturer in Foundational Medical Studies at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and Clinical Ethicist at Beaumont Health. His research focuses on ethical issues in medicine, with special attention to clinical ethics and ethics in public health. Recent publications include a monograph, Values and Vaccine Refusal: Hard Questions in Ethics, Epistemology and Health Care (Routledge, 2016), and articles in journals including American Journal of Bioethics, Hastings Center Report, Bioethics, Milbank Quarterly, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Pediatrics and Vaccine.